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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE3401 Combustion Theory and Design

20 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr HN Phylaktou

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is mutually exclusive with

CAPE5401MCombustion Theory and Design

This module is not approved as a discovery module


This module introduces the fundamentals of combustion, combustion process control, and fire and explosion prevention. It will focus on the applications of combustion in industrial processes, transportation and power generation, building practical skills to carry out relevant experiments.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should:
- have a general knowledge of major combustion processes for energy production;
- have understood the basic combustion chemistry and be able to calculate flame temperatures;
- have the ability to assess and control flammability, fire and explosions;
- have understood the principles of combustion process design for high thermal efficiency and low pollutant emissions;
- have developed practical skills related to experimental design, measurement and data analysis associated with combustion-based experiments;
- be able to apply combustion theory to the interpretation and critical analysis of experimental results.

Skills outcomes
The module provides students with fundamental knowledge and practical experience of fuel and combustion processes used in process engineering, transport and the power generation industry.


- Introduction to combustion - the combustion triangle, fuel and oxidizer, combustion stoichiometry, lean/rich combustion, flammability limits.
- Combustion chemistry - reaction kinetics, chemical equilibrium, heating value, flame temperature.
- Flames - premixed flame, laminar burning velocities and flame speeds, flame stability, quench distance, diffusion flame, laminar and turbulent flames.
- Flammability and explosions - minimum ignition energy, auto-ignition and engine knock, auto-ignition temperatures, flash point, explosion protection.
- Future thermal power stations - gas, liquid and solid fuel combustion, rich/lean burner operation, low carbon systems.
- Combustion related experiments - five subject specific experiments, including characterisation of fuels, gas/air flammability, bomb calorimetry, CO2 absorption and energy management.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours5.00
Private study hours167.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study:
Students are expected to study in their own time for at least 3 hours for every hour of lecture material and practical sessions, on average in order to fully understand the lecture material. Over 50 hours of the private time are expected to be spent on course assignment and compilation and submission of experimental reports.

Independent learning:
Students are expected to spend about 0.5 hour for every hour of lecture on the VLE to review the lecture material and answer MCQ.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

10 sets of online MCQ, one for every two-hour lecture.
3 experimental reports submitted during the semester.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQ10 MCQs online0.00
Practical ReportReport 220.00
Practical ReportReport 320.00
Practical ReportReport 10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 12/07/2022


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